Wait, the title of the post said CROPPED, right? Just hold your horses. We'll get there.
(Then again, these boots are a little too tall for these Birkins, so perhaps these ARE a little cropped? Just wait...)
Wait for it...
And BAM! Cropped flares! AKA "the fashion trend that's supposed to look awkward."
SO before I get into these cropped flares, let me tell you about these patterns which are (almost) all part of the Indiesew 2016 Spring Collection. I've had the honor of designing and blogging for several of Allie's amazing collections, but I have to say...this one is my absolute favorite. I wish I could have made ALL the patterns, but alas, three babies. But seriously, you could get a whole capsule wardrobe out of this one amazing collection.
Pictured above you see the brand-new Florence Kimono by Sew Caroline, a knit Lou Box Top by Sew DIY and of course, my cropped Birkin Flares. (The jeans in the first three photos are a different pair of Birkin Flares - obviously not cropped. I just wanted to show lots of different looks with these great patterns!)
I made the Florence Kimono in one night including printing and assembling the pattern. I know! Even with the French seams and bias binding around the front edge, it was a breeze to make and super satisfying, too. The fabric is a super lightweight and flowy rayon challis I purchased in LA a couple years ago. I'm so glad I bought three yards of it, because it was PERFECT for this kimono. I wasn't sure if it was really going to be my style, but I am in love with this whole look. I made the XS-S size. (Measurements: 5'6" tall, 34-28-36-ish. It changes every day. Babies, I tell you. But basically I am a RTW 4 with a little muffin top added for good measure.)
I had quizzed the Instagramz to determine whether or not I should add fringe, and it was about 50/50. Ultimately, I decided not to add it because I think the simple look works more with my casual wardrobe and #momlife. Plus, I could not find any suitable fringe. There you have it.
Pictured above and below is the Lou Box Top which I am wearing some variation of in all these photos. I also previously blogged a different version here. I told Beth, the designer, that this top was one of my top 3 favorite patterns. She seemed happy about that and blah blah blah but...I have a confession to make. I lied.
It is probably my #1 most favoritest pattern ever!! It is super versatile and gives so many different looks depending on the fabric and size used. My version above is the smallest size - the XXS - and it's awesome in this slub knit that I purchased from the remnant table at Mill End here in Portland. I will be wearing it constantly this summer with all the things despite having cut a tiny hole in it near the back hem (and also cutting through my coverstitching).
The only modification I made to this knit version was in how I constructed the hem. Before sewing the side seams, I stuck the bottom hem under with some Wash-Away Wonder Tape (but I didn't sew it). I then serged the side seams all the way down (skipping the vent) and left a long tail that I then pulled back through the serging with a large hand-sewing needle. Finally, I cover stitched around the bottom edge in one go.
But wait! There's another Lou Box Top! (Told you I love it.)
This one I made in a Robert Kaufman Union Chambray that I purchased at Fabric Depot in Portland. To be honest, this fabric was in my scrap bin because...um...I didn't feel like ironing it. Just kidding (not really) BUT I was pretty skeptical about using it because it doesn't have much drape. It kind of gives me flashbacks to using quilting cotton for garment sewing which we all know leads to very bad things.
However, I am happy to report that I love this top, too! It's a totally different look than my knit or rayon challis one, but I do find it flattering and comfortable. For this version, I sewed the size XS (which corresponds to my bust measurement of 34") and lowered the neckline about 1/2" because I like flashing people. Obvs.
Actually no, I did that because I loved Felicia's version and wanted to be just like her. She mentioned somewhere that she had lowered hers to the level of the Wiksten Tank, so I lowered mine to the level of the Cali Faye Collection Basics Tank which has a great neckline for me.
When I bend over in odd configurations in an attempt to look like fashion bloggers and runway models (actually I'm just bending over to pick up kids and clean up cat puke), it does fall away from my body in a way that might not be appropriate for the playground or a curling match.
But hey, it looks fab when I am standing straight up! So yeah, I might stick with the original neckline if I make it again in a stiff fabric like this one. I think lowering it wouldn't be so bad for a more flowy fabric that clings to the chest.
UP NEXT! A comfy Oslo Cardigan (not in this collection, but I happened to have it with me and thought it looked cozy with these pants) with the same knit Lou Box Top from earlier and the impressively awkward (yet incredible) cropped Birkin Flares.
Okay, I admit that the first time cropped flares started popping up in my Pinterest feed, I thought Alexa Chung was cray-cray with a capital CRAY. But then, I started getting used to seeing them (like any weird fashion trend), and I've become obsessed.
Like my sarouel pants that YOU ALL LOVED (hahahahaHA), these are probably not going to be for everyone. But they ARE for me because I embrace anything that makes me stand out in a semi-embarrassing fashion.
To hack the Birkin Flares into crops, I simply chopped about 5" off a pair I'd already made. (This will depend on how tall you are, how short you want your crops, etc. - I recommend pinning them up and then basting the side seams to determine how wide you want them.) I then narrowed the flare by about 1/2" on each side (at inseam and outseam) and re-sewed the leg seams. (Actually, I first narrowed it in a bit more, but it was too much - so I redid it all.)
I also made sure to taper in a tiny bit at the last inch before the bottom of the legs so the hem would nest nicely when it was turned under. WIth stretch fabric especially, you can end up with an ugly belling out at the bottom if you don't taper that hem in a tad.
So there you have it! I love these garments so much and am thrilled to feel like I'm finally making things that work with my lifestyle and taste. I'm finding that more solid colors coupled with slightly off-the-beaten-path silhouettes are what I love. Blues, grays and other neutrals...ahhhh.
Wanna check out what the other bloggers on the tour made with this collection? Check these out:
Or you can see all the details on Indiesew by clicking the image below:
Thanks for reading! xoxo